Rochester, Minnesota




Kathleen J. Yost, Ph.D., is an epidemiologist with research interests in health literacy, survey methodology and patient-reported outcomes measurement. Dr. Yost has over 15 years of experience in outcome measure development and validation and is director of Mayo Clinic's Survey Research Center. Her research focuses on using patient-centered questionnaires to measure experiences of illness and perceptions of health care received, with the overall goal of using this information to enhance patients' quality of life and improve quality of care.

Focus areas

  • Questionnaire development and validation. Dr. Yost has developed and validated a number of questionnaires addressing various topics including symptom burden, treatment burden, quality of life and well-being, and quality of cancer care, among others.
  • Health literacy. Dr. Yost has developed an expertise in measuring health literacy, and she works to understand its impact on patients' health and well-being.
  • Using surveys to inform care delivery. Dr. Yost is engaged in research to evaluate approaches for integrating patient-centered surveys into busy clinical settings and using survey results in real time to inform care delivery. She also researches the application of surveys for remote monitoring of patients following an episode of care, again using survey results to inform care delivery.
  • Minimally important differences. Dr. Yost conducts research on estimating minimally important differences for patient-reported outcome measures to facilitate the interpretation and clinical usefulness of results.

Significance to patient care

Much of Dr. Yost's research aims to enhance care by providing patients, caregivers, and clinicians with tools to better understand the health care experience and to identify opportunities for improvement.


Primary Appointment

  1. Consultant, Division of Epidemiology, Department of Quantitative Health Sciences

Academic Rank

  1. Professor of Health Services Research


  1. PhD - Epidemiology. Dissertation Title: "Quality of Life in Women with a Recent History of Breast Cancer." University of California, Davis
  2. BS - Environmental Toxicology. Minor, Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning University of California, Davis

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